Whether you want an entire metal roof system or just want a metal roof over your screened-in porch, you’re going to have to decide on the type of metal. The truth is, there’s no wrong answer.

You have to choose the type of metal that fits your situation, the look you want, and your budget. While there are plenty of options to choose from, there are 3 we see more often in residential roofing. 

We here at Bill Ragan Roofing want to give every homeowner the power to make all the right decisions for themselves and their roof. That’s why we’re going to break down the common types of metal used in residential roofing. 

By the end of this article, you’ll learn which type of metal roof is right for residential roofing and 3 common types of metal. 

Which metal roof is right for residential roofing?

Before we get to the common types of metal, you need to know which type of metal roof system is right for residential roofing. 

A standing seam metal roof system is a series of panels that are locked together at the seams or seamed mechanically. This allows for panels to expand and contract freely when the metal heats up.

standing seam metal roof

A screw-down panel is just what it's called; it's screwed down. The screws are screwed through the panel, which leaves no room for expansion and contraction.

screw down metal roof

Because a standing seam metal roof can expand and contract freely, it’s the recommended choice for homeowners looking for an entire metal roof system over their home. A lot of homeowners even like to use this metal roof for accent and aesthetic purposes on front porches, side porches, back porches, and bay windows.

On the other hand, I would not recommend putting a screw-down panel over any heated space such as your home or office.

That doesn’t mean you won’t see a home with a screw down metal roof, but I recommend this type of roof system for a carport, garage, back screened-in porch, barn, or anywhere that’s not a living or workspace.


The 3 common types of metal used in residential metal roofing

Now you know that a standing seam metal roof is the recommended choice for residential roofing. For the rest of this article, we’ll be talking about the 3 common metals for standing seam roof systems. 

1. Steel metal roofing

The most commonly used metal for residential roofing (for accent purposes and entire roof systems) is steel. Steel comes in 24 or 26 gauge for standing seam metal roof panels. 

steel standing seam metal roof

The differences in the gauges of steel panels are in their thickness; the higher the number, the thinner it is. Because 26 gauge steel metal roof panels are thinner, they have a higher chance of oil canning

That’s why the most commonly seen standing seam metal roof is 24 gauge steel with a Kynar 500 painted finish. Both gauges of steel can have this painted finish, but some roofing contractors lower their prices by giving homeowners 26 gauge steel without the Kynar 500 and use another kind of painted finish. 

Without the Kynar 500 painted finish, you’re not going to get the longevity you were expecting out of a standing seam metal roof. Both gauges of steel metal roofing are used for residential purposes, but keep in mind oil canning is a problem with 26 gauge steel. 

No matter what type of steel is used, the most important thing is that the metal roof panels have the Kynar 500 painted finish. 

2. Copper metal roofing

Copper is another popular choice for residential metal roofing. Instead of gauges like steel, copper comes in ounces (16, 20, 30, 60, 90). 

In residential roofing, 16-ounce copper is the most commonly used. You can use copper for an entire standing seam metal roof system, but it could easily cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

copper metal roofing

That’s why copper is used more for accent purposes on luxury shingles, slate roofs, and cedar shake roofs. It can be used for roof flashing, chimney caps, covered porches, bay windows, etc. 

copper metal roof flashing

While copper is a great upgrade to a roof, it’s also a lifetime roofing material. Once it’s installed on your roof, you’ll never have to worry about it again. 

3. Stainless steel metal roofing

While not as commonly used, stainless steel is another option for residential metal roofing. Just like steel, stainless steel comes in gauges. 

It’s going to give you the same look as galvanized metal, but it won’t rust (depending on your area’s climate). Because of this, it’s not going to have the Kynar 500 or any other type of painted finish on the metal roof panels. 

Stainless steel is also a lifetime roofing material like copper. But what sets stainless steel apart from copper and 24 gauge steel is that it’s a tougher material. 

It’s less likely to get damaged from hail storms or other dings that hit the metal roof panels. While you can get an entire stainless steel metal roof system, it’s going to be even more expensive than copper. 

I recommend using stainless steel for accent purposes like copper. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you and your budget. 

How long does a metal roof last?

Now you know the 3 common types of metal used in residential roofing. Remember, steel is the most commonly used metal for entire roof systems. Copper and stainless steel are great accent upgrades for your roof, but if you have the budget and want either one for your entire roof system, you’ll never have to worry about your roof again. 

However, if you’re like most homeowners, you’re going with a 24 gauge steel standing seam metal roof. Because steel isn’t a lifetime roofing material, it’s important to know how long you’ll get out of your steel metal roof investment. 

That’s why we wrote another article breaking down how long your steel standing seam metal system should actually last. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners in the Nashville area with their metal roofing needs since 1990. We educate and give you all the information needed to determine which metal is right for you and your home. Whether it’s for accent purposes or an entire metal roof system, you can count on us to give you the curb appeal you’re looking for. 

Check out How Long Does a Metal Roof Last to learn how many years you’ll get out of your metal roof investment.

the complete guide to purchasing a roof